China Unicom Announces to Land AAE-1 Cable in Myanmar

China Unicom announced Thursday that it has signed an agreement with MPT to construct a submarine cable landing station in Ngwe Saung, Myanmar. And it was also unveiled that the Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) submarine cable will land at the Ngwe Saung cable landing station. The secrecy of the AAE-1 consortium has finally come to a show-up. The AAE-1 cable is definitely going to land in Myanmar and China Unicom will own and operate the AAE-1 cable landing station in Ngwe Saung, jointly with MPT.

The agreement was signed on November 14 by Chang Xiaobing, China Unicom’s Chairman, and U Khin Maung Tun, MPT’s General Manager, under the witness by China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang and Myanmar’s President U Thein Sein at the President Palace in Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar.

In the meanwhile, China and Myanmar also celebrated the completion of the China-Myanmar International (CMI) terrestrial cable system. The CMI cable system is wholly invested by China Unicom, spanning 1500km from Ruili in the southwest China to Ngwe Saung Beach in the Irrawaddy Delta of Myanmar.

The AAE-1 submarine cable and the CMI terrestrial cable will be seamlessly connected at the Ngwe Saung cable landing station, which will offer a shorter cable route for China, Korea and Japan to reach Southwest Asia,the Middle East, Africa and Europe, at least 3000 km (or equivalently 30 ms) shorter than the traditional submarine cable routes via Singapore, according to China Unicom.

Led by China Unicom, the AAE-1 consortium signed the C&MA in Hong Kong in January 2014. From then on, although there were rumors and information that the AAE-1 cable is going to land in Myanmar, there wasn't formal announcement or clarification by any party, and the AAE-1 cable maps released by consortium members didn’t show its Myanmar landing as well.

In fact, China Unicom hinted its ambition to land the AAE-1 cable in Myanmar, to limited business partners worldwide at the China Unicom International Partners Meeting 2013 in Shanghai in last June. An executive from MPT addressed at the meeting and released some information about the CMI cable and the AAE-1 cable landing in Myamar, and MPT was awarded as the most important partner of China Unicom at the meeting.

The China Unicom International Partners Meeting is now a must-attending annual event for telecom professionals doing business with China, representing one of the most important voices from China telecommunications industry.

The landing of AAE-1 cable in Ngwe Saung will enable diverse connectivity and huge capacity for Myanmar internet. The seamless interconnection of the AAE-1 submarine cable and the CMI terrestrial cable will bring unique advantage for China Unicom to offer short latency solutions from Europe, Africa, or the Middle East to China and East Asia countries.  

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